Can we do this better?


If I had to say what it was that sums up what I am laser focused on as an elementary principal, my answer would be “Can we do this better?”.

I’ve written many posts over the past three years about my drive to re-imagine the elementary learning experience. We have dreamed together, involved parents, students, and teachers in steering us onto a path where this kind of transformation can take place if we are brave enough to try.

We’ve identified many things that we think get us stuck like schedules, state expectations — mostly things I like to call “whataboutisms”. But the thing I think will get us permanently stuck is finding something in our pedagogy that works today, or that has worked in the past, and then keeping our pedagogy the same because it worked really well for that one lesson, that one unit, or for that one class the entire year.

However, we need to remember that the variables in our field are the children we serve. No group of kids I have experienced or supported has been the same as any other group of kids.


Think back 10 years ago to the way you delivered the learning experience for students.

How much has that has dramatically changed since then?

Now ask yourself if that dramatic change was more out of choice due to a desire to get better or if it were more out of pressure from an initiative.

I ask that question because the best of the best that I have learned from and have seen teach are relentless in their pursuit to get better. It seems that they didn’t wait around to be told to change; it seems instead that they told themselves, “I need to get better at this.”

So the challenge I pose to each and everyone of us, myself included, is to ask ourselves, “Can we do this better?”

And then I challenge us to be brave enough to honestly answer that question.

Check out this great article on the power and importance of being self-reflection (and honest with yourself): “The Necessity Of Self-Criticism In Education”


Be brave!

– Herb

Here’s the Staff Update for this week.


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